Monday, February 27, 2006

Reporter Rob Johnson couldn't understand why his name showed up on the federal no-fly terrorism list last July:

It all started last July when I headed to California with my family on my two-month-old son's first trip. We arrived an hour and a half early at O'Hare. We tried to check our bags curbside, but were told to go inside. The automated kiosk didn't work either, so we went to the American Airlines counter. After several computer checks we were told one of our names were on the federal no-fly list. By the time we were cleared it was too late to catch our flight.
Robert Johnson from Villa Park says he has encountered the same issues.

"It's pretty frustrating. They tell you your name is on some government list and it's like, What?" he said. "Every time I fly, you know, you just think about all the other Robert Johnsons flying and this thing is happening to them, too. They've got to come up with a better plan."
But now it is becoming clearer--these two Robert Johnsons--and how many others?--have the misfortune of sharing the same name with notorious terrorist Dr. Robert Johnson. Not a very likely terrorist at first glance, Dr. Johnson is a distinguished surgeon, an honorably discharged Army Lt. Colonel, and a candidate for Congress. But--he is a critic of the Bush administration and is against the war in Iraq.

A two-time candidate for Congress wants to know why he's been placed on a federal list as a possible terror suspect.

It is, of course, theoretically possible that Dr. Johnson was just unlucky enough to share a name with an Islamo-fascist terrorist by the name of "Robert Johnson." And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon, to quote Star Trek's Scotty.


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